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NJ Women Lead the Charge to Help Sandy Impacted Businesses

Superstorm Sandy expands the mission of a Chatham-based nonprofit that usually helps female business owners.

The Womens Center for Entrepreneurship Corporation (WCEC) is moving full steam ahead with its “We’re Storming Back” Hurricane Sandy Disaster Relief Program that offers free workshops, training, education and one-on-one consultation to all proprietors in the four counties hardest hit by the Superstorm.

WCEC Executive Director Penni Nafus says the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) approached them following the Superstorm to offer their business support services to Ocean, Monmouth, Atlantic and Cape May proprietors and has even awarded a grant to fund the initiative.

Nafus says they’re focused on three main components, with the first being Customer Service, insuring that visitors have a great experience. “One of the things that we thought that would help them have a positive experience is to work with the employees of the business who are interacting with the people who are coming down to the shore.”

They’re also offering One-On-One Business Consultations.

Nafus says “I have 31 different consultants, all of whom own their own businesses in the industry that they are consulting. So, if there’s a small business in Point Pleasant or wherever who really feels that they could really use some marketing, we can provide them with an experienced Marketer to help them with their plans and their programs.”

She says they can also offer help in pretty much any area they’re needed like information technology, human resources and strategic planning.

She says they’re also offering assistance in Planning for Future Storms. “We feel that so many of the small businesses could take steps that will help insure their viability so they’re not closed down for six, eight weeks.”

Nafus says they’re working with local Chambers of Commerce to help host and promote some of the events. However, she says they can also bring the workshops, education and training to the businesses. “We will be coming to the clients. They don’t have to drive. We can do, say the Customer Service classes right at their business and it’s the same thing with the individual consulting.

A list of all training sessions and information can be found at or call the Women Business Center at 973-507-9700

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